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DIFFPress Releases 2017Arab Cinema Shines on The World Stage at Cannes Film Festival’s Milestone 70th Edition
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Arab Cinema Shines on The World Stage at Cannes Film Festival’s Milestone 70th Edition
Tue May 9, 2017
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Dubai, 09 May 2017: Spearheading efforts to champion Arab cinema and promote the UAE as a leading film hub for the region, a UAE delegation will embark on a journey to the annual Cannes Film Festival. Comprising key industry players including Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), Dubai Studio City (DSC), Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival and the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), the delegation will be based at the UAE Pavilion at the festival, which takes place May 17-28, 2017.

This edition of the Cannes Film Festival marks its milestone 70th anniversary and is the 15th consecutive year that the UAE has had a presence at the prestigious event. Once again, the UAE pavilion at the festival is set to offer international audiences the perfect window into new and compelling stories coming out of the Arab world and a chance to discover the best of local, Arab, Bollywood and Hollywood films produced in the Emirates over the past year. Stationed at the International Village, the UAE Pavilion will be the epicentre of information, business connection and Emirati filmmaking promotion to international markets, helping maximise opportunities and further cement Arab cinema’s place on the world stage.

In addition to the Festival’s own milestone anniversary, the Dubai Film Connection (DFC), DIFF’s co-production market, will also be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Since its formation, DFC has been an instrumental pillar of the industry and has supported the development of over 130 films, which have gone on to achieve global acclaim.

A key event of the array of highlights and networking events lined up for the UAE Pavilion’s 12-day agenda is the returning partnership between the Dubai Film Market (DFM) and the Marché du Film. The partnership will hold an exclusive screening of five work-in-progress films from the Arab world, giving an unmissable window into the talent and innovation flowing out
of the Middle East.

A further five films that were showcased at DIFF’s successful 13th edition and supported by Enjaaz - the DFM’s post-production and production support programme - will also screen in the Cannes Short Film Corner. Completing the line up from the UAE is the winner of the ‘Samsung SHRT Flm Cntst’. Launched in 2014, Samsung SHRT Flm Cntst contest fosters creative minds across the Emirates, with budding talent thriving from the help and guidance of Emirati director Majid Al Ansari.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), commented: “It’s such a pleasure to be once again returning to the Cannes Film Festival and showcasing film talent and innovation of the Arab world. The UAE’s film offering continues to grow from strength to strength and Cannes remains to the perfect platform for us to present the endless opportunities available in the Emirates to the film world. We hope all festival delegates take the chance to visit the UAE pavilion and discover the benefits of working with the UAE, from world-class facilities and infrastructure, a unique choice of locations and incredible film festivals putting the spotlight on the very best of Arab and world cinema. Near to DIFF’s heart is the development and growth of Arab talent and we are excited to help support those from the Arab world going to Cannes so they can connect with the international film industry and maximise opportunities to further expand the presence and recognition of Arab cinema on the world stage.”

Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF), said: “Movies and film-making are an essential component of the cultural import and output of Sharjah. We are indeed delighted to be a part of the 70th Cannes Film Festival. Through SICFF, creative workshops and allied activities, FUNN continually strives to realise its vision to empower younger generations of the UAE and the Arab region with art and media literacy. Being part of this festival is an invaluable opportunity for FUNN to further its outreach, and enables our young artists to share their experiences on a prestigious global platform.”

As part of the UAE delegation at Cannes, Dubai Studio City is set to highlight its key role as an enabler of emerging talent from the UAE and the wider region. Through leading initiatives such as in5 Media incubator, which provides a unique platform designed to maximize content creation from the region, DSC is reinforcing the UAE’s position as a prominent player in the international media production and film making industry by nurturing the next generation of young film makers, innovators and entrepreneurs. For more than 12 years, DSC has led the way in growing the industry in Dubai and the region through hosting globally renowned franchises such as Star Trek Beyond, Mission Impossible and other large scale TV formats that filmed in Dubai.

Commenting on the line up, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, Dubai Studio City said: “For over 12 years, DSC has cultivated a creative community of talents and professionals dedicated to driving the rapid growth of the film making industry in UAE and the wider region, and further developing its reputation on the international stage.
“To provide a new talent incubator for local and regional young filmmakers and media start-ups, we introduced in5 Media, an ambitious new platform to help further strengthen and expand the broader media production entrepreneurial ecosystem in Dubai and the wider region. Our participation at the Cannes Film Festival promises to further accelerate the emergence of the UAE as a rich source of regional talent and a major international film industry player capable of producing output that ranks with the very best in the world,” he added.
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